One of the my favorite elements of the offseason is the signing of players who went undrafted. Sometimes, but not always, a team finds some legitimate talent that can make an impact on the 53-man roster. The Dallas Cowboys are actually one of the most successful teams in that area. I believe that the Cowboys have a lot of success in the UDFA market because the owner, Jerry Jones, is always willing to give someone a shot to make it in the NFL as a Dallas Cowboy. Whether Jerry is right or wrong is a whole other discussion, but I do admire him for giving players a chance who may not have gotten that opportunity on another team.
The Cowboys' scouting department should take most of the credit for the UDFA finds. The scouts see these kids more than anyone else, and that includes the owner and coaching staff. Of course these players were passed on by all 32 NFL teams for a reason. Some lack prototypical height, speed or strength, others have character concerns. Miles Austin and Tony Romo are the big name UDFA finds, but players like Kevin Ogletree, Phil Costa, Barry Church, Danny McCray, Dan Bailey and Phillip Tanner all made the Cowboys' roster last year.
During the OTAs and mini-camp practices, there was another UDFA wide receiver who made people in the Cowboys' organization take notice. Cole Beasley from local Southern Methodist University showed up in every practice and made plays when his number was called. There will be an open competition in training camp this summer for the wide receiver positions after Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, and as of right now you might have to consider Beasley to be in position for one of those spots.
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The Cowboys list Beasley at 5'8, 174 pounds. That makes him one of the smallest players on the field, heck even some punters might tower over him, but Beasley has the skills to make it in the NFL. Often when comparing short wide receivers that are white, we will instantly compare them to New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker. For whatever reason, we just automatically compare a short and white receiver to Welker. I am no stranger to this, and I have also compared Beasley to former Cowboys receiver Danny Amendola.
So what does Beasley think of the Welker comparisons? You would assume that he would be flattered to be compared to a Pro Bowl wide receiver who is one of the best route runners in the game, but Beasley wasn't too thrilled about the comparison.
"I get tired of it a little bit because I feel like I have a little bit more speed than Wes Welker does," Beasley said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan’s RAGE radio show (via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News). "He’s got a little bigger frame than me but I feel like I’ve got a little more versatility to my game than he does."
"I do have similarities with him but I feel like I can play a little bit more outside (than Welker does), as well as inside."
You can't blame Beasley for getting a little upset about it, but in my opinion he does come across a little too arrogant when describing himself as a faster player with more versatility. Welker isn't that fast, so maybe I should give Beasley credit for that.
Cole Beasley Pro Day Results
- 4.49 40 yard dash
- 38 inch vertical jump
- 10'06" broad jump
- 4.40 20 yard shuttle
- 7.16 three-cone drill
Wes Welker Pro Day Results
- 4.65 40 yard dash
- 30 inch vertical jump
- 9'5" broad jump
- 4.01 20 yard shuttle
- 7.09 three-cone drill
Beasley has Welker when it comes to overall speed, and his 38 inch vertical jump does imply that Beasley has some explosion, but Welker is the quicker player with better numbers in the 20 yard shuttle and three-cone drill. Remember that these numbers go out the window when the lights come on and you start getting hit by linebackers and safeties, but Beasley does have some impressive athletic measurable's.
Beasley might have Welker beat in the confidence department, adding that he would have caught the ball Welker dropped in the fourth quarter of the Patriots' loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI.
"Oh yeah," Beasley said. "You got to catch that one."
Big words from a small man, and he may come across as over confident or arrogant, but undrafted players need to have that type of mentality considering it will be an uphill battle for them to make an NFL roster. It's fitting that the tiny wide receiver went to Little Elm High School in Texas, but he went on to have a great career at SMU.
Cole Beasley SMU Statistics
- 2011: 86 receptions, 1,040 yards and 2 TD
- 2010: 87 receptions, 1,060 yards and 6 TD
- 2009: 40 receptions, 493 yards and 3 TD
- 2008: 42 receptions, 366 yards and 3 TD
His 255 career receptions suggests that Beasley can be the type of possession receiver that the Cowboys are currently looking for. Beasley is a great route runner who relies on his quickness to get open. If you are looking for a short wide receiver who has good hands and runs great routes, well then you could consider Beasley to be the prototypical slot wide receiver. If he continues to impress the coaching staff, then the Cowboys will have no choice but to keep him on the roster.
For your viewing pleasure, I included the You Tube highlight video of Cole Beasley. So BTB, does Beasley have some Welker in him, or is he his own type of player? Have at it in the comment section.
Cole Beasley Highlights (via lequarterback11)